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Beginner Gardening Questions: Can praying mantises and Volk oil be friends?

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 7, Views: 28
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claywoman
Edgerton, MO
(Zone 5b)

August 11, 2012
8:19 PM

Post #9238510

A certain scale pest has been attacking my burning bushes for several years. Volk Oil works well when I finally remember to use it. These bushes are especially popular places for praying mantises...I find several egg sacs in these bushes every year. I know the oil will ruin the actual egg sac so I cut them off and take them to safe bushes they like, however it dawned on me that I may be making the bushes a bad place for babies who may come there. I have spireas in the vicinity, which also gets egg sacs, so babies are jumping around like kittens when spring comes. Will volk oil kill young praying mantises or just run them off? Will the spray deter adult mantises from coming to the bushes? I'm not sure if volk oil has much effect on any insects except the ones who have scales? I do not want to kill praying mantises, but I don't want to lose these bushes either, so, anyone have any input here???

Also, I read another way to kill these scale insects is to put a systemic poison around the base of the plant in the fall/winter & the next years scales will die when they suck the plant. I haven't done this because I don't know the effect on the mantises. I'm thinking there would be no food for the hatchlings so they'd die? Or just have to go elsewhere? Again, input! I need to kill these scales.

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 12, 2012
8:32 AM

Post #9238812

I did some searching around...the mantis eggs will be fine as long as you do not spray them, which you aren't doing. One suggestion was to remove the egg cases and gently glue them to small branches that you stick in the ground under plants that will not be sprayed.

As for systemics...the plant absorbs the poison, the bug ingests the plant and dies from the poison...it would seem logical that anything that eats the bug would be ingesting the poison also. I have read that systemic poisons can be fatal to bees as it is also in the pollen...

So, my conclusion would be to move the mantis cases as you are doing, and treat for scale with your choice of dormant oil spray. The baby mantises don't eat the plants so I do not see the Volck oil creating that problem especially since the oil kills by smothering, not poisoning. I hope this helps.
claywoman
Edgerton, MO
(Zone 5b)

August 12, 2012
5:34 PM

Post #9239317

OK, good. I was hoping I would hear something like this. I've used twist ties sometimes when I move the egg cases too. Plus I've now read on the Volk bottle I can/should spray this stuff many times of the year, so I was thinking maybe I could leave out that "window" when the really little babies may have migrated to these bushes, just so I don't happen to get them. I don't think the mama's have made their sacs yet, so I'd best be gettin' busy. Thank you!

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 13, 2012
6:27 AM

Post #9239785

You are very welcome.

That sounds like a solid plan. The only time the tiny ones would be in danger is for a short period after hatching...watch out for that and they should be fine...remember to get the underside of the leaves...scale insects prefer that side...sneaky devils...grin
claywoman
Edgerton, MO
(Zone 5b)

August 13, 2012
7:26 AM

Post #9239867

Another question on the subject of using volk oil...I looked at Home Depot and a local hardware store for some kind of extension for my sprayer (I use one of those hook-to-the-hose things you put your concentrate in) I couldn't find anything except for window washer tools which the end needs to be at an angle. So I discovered my rain wand can be used, but I'm still going to get wet & volk-ized. Also looked on Amazon. Any suggestions? This would be a good tool to design. How do people spray the tops of their big fruit trees??

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 13, 2012
7:47 AM

Post #9239896

I did some checking around, and talked with my husband...the hose end sprayer system really doesn't lend itself to extensions, but for under $20 you can get a Pump style sprayer. They usually have a spray wand that is 18 to 24 inches long attached to a hose of approximately the same length.That would give you better reach, and they come in varying sizes...1Gal, 3Gal and even come in a Backpack version for big jobs. Very few casual gardeners have the need for sprayers that reach the tops of trees, so most of those type sprayers are considered commercial...and rather costly.

The link below shows what is available at Home Depot.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/Search?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=pump sprayer&storeId=10051#/?c=1&Ns=P_REP_PRC_MODE|0
claywoman
Edgerton, MO
(Zone 5b)

August 13, 2012
5:23 PM

Post #9240492

I have one of these & my husband even made an extension for it (machinist) however the rubber hose isn't long enough for my taste. I've found it too heavy (3 gal.) I get wetter, arms get tired pumping it and carrying it. It doesn't have the back carrying thing on it. I'm trying to do this as quickly and easily as I can. Plus, I am planning to spray this stuff on some small trees which are about 10 ft. I think I'm getting some good input tho, and got my plan now! Thank you!

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 13, 2012
9:04 PM

Post #9240763

You are most welcome. Good luck on your plan.

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